National Race & Pedagogy Conference

June 14, 2006

Tacoma, Wash. - The Race and Pedagogy National Conference will be held at University of Puget Sound on September 14 – 16, 2006, bringing together experts and academics from across the nation for a groundbreaking discussion on the impact of race and ethnicity in higher education. To broaden the dialogue and more fully represent many points of view, the conference also will include local educators, students, parents, and community leaders.

The conference is sponsored by University of Puget Sound. A complete conference schedule and information on registration is available by calling 253.879.3483 or online at

“We want to involve many voices in this debate, and help create partnerships, as we consider how to improve the racial-cultural experiences of all students and prepare them for the realities of a global economy,” said Professor Dexter Gordon, chair of the conference and of the African American Studies program at University of Puget Sound. “Students must develop citizenship and leadership skills for a diverse world where race continues to matter.  The academic achievement of all students affects the entire community. Our hope is that this event will become a defining moment as the community works together to develop strategies for success.”

Plenary speakers include:

  • Lucius Turner Outlaw, Jr. on Friday, September 15. A professor of Philosophy and African American and Diaspora Studies and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education at Vanderbilt University.
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, on Friday, September 15. The president of Spelman College, a clinical psychologist, and author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And other Conversations about Race
  • Robert P. Moses, on Saturday, September 16. He is founder of the Algebra Project, Inc., and was a pivotal organizer for the civil rights movement and former director of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

Panel discussions will address more than 56 topics related to race and education, including:

  • Queer of Color
  • Race, Pedagogy and Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Generational Diversity
  • Politics, Leadership, and Community Mobilization
  • First Nation/Native American Pedagogy
  • On the Border of Transforming Race, Pedagogy, and Community
  • Confronting the Achievement Gap
  • Making Race meaningful in the Classroom
  • Media Representations of Race
  • Re-segregation and Isolation
  • Identifying Factors that Foster and Impede Classroom Discussions about Race

Preceding the conference, which begins on September 14, 2006, noted scholar, Cornel West, will present the 2006 Susan Resneck Pierce Lecture in Public Affairs and the Arts. Professor West returned to Princeton in 2002. He was director of the Program in African American Studies from 1988 to 1994. West is a former professor of African-American studies and philosophy of religion at Harvard University. A champion for racial justice since childhood, The Northeastern Voice described West as, “A noted social and economic philosopher. He has taken his struggle for racial equity to the national spotlight. His best-selling book, Race Matters, touched a nerve in the American public and triggered a national debate on race issues.

West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in only three years. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees from Princeton University. He then became a professor of religion and the director of the Afro-American Studies program at Princeton.

Cornel West has been called ‘America's Public Intellectual,’ aptly describing his relaxed demeanor and easy accessibility. He avoids the jargon that oftentimes separates the scholar from the world he or she is supposed to describe.”

In addition to the speaker series, workshops, and a juried student poster exhibition, a number of public events will be held off campus in conjunction with the conference, including exhibits by African American artists Joyce Scott at the Museum of Glass, and Aminah Robinson at the Tacoma Art Museum. 

Print-quality photos of conference hosts and speakers are available online. For interviews with conference speakers or organizers, please contact University of Puget Sound Office of Media Relations at 253.879.2611 or